All across Massachusetts, municipal officials are at the front line of dealing with today’s complex problems in such areas as budgets, education, land use, environment, economic development, public works, public safety and public health. In addressing these complex problems, local public officials tackle public conflicts head-on and bring many to resolution. However, officials also face public conflicts that persist and impair their ability to move forward. This study documents specific needs that municipal officials identified as important for dealing with public conflict and for obtaining the societal results they desired. These ran the gamut from resource and process-oriented needs to structural or systemic changes. The evidence collected through this study demonstrates a pressing on-the-ground need for direct assistance to Massachusetts municipalities and local communities in dealing with destructive public conflict.
Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration. (2015, January). Legislative Study: Massachusetts Municipal Conflict Resolution Needs Assessment, Interim Report. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, University of Massachusetts Boston